Extreme weather can appear just about anywhere, so the majority of homeowners are no strangers to storm damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and hail can impact many parts of your property, like the landscape, roof, siding and windows.
Heavy winds and water damage are also common problems for outdoor heating and cooling systems. In severe weather, equipment may be thrust out of position, even toppling over and breaking electrical systems and refrigerant lines. Even in situations where systems remain upright, they can collect mud and other materials, which needs to be cleaned out before they can work like they're supposed to.
For your safety when examining your storm-damaged home, don’t turn on the HVAC system until it has gotten the all-clear from a heating and cooling specialist. The trick is identifying who to hire for the job. After all, any random guy with a truck can claim to be an HVAC technician. An unqualified person tampering with your heating and cooling could make matters worse, and overcharge you and then disappear without a trace.
Situations like these often escalate during storm cleanup. To avoid being exploited, learn about the top six questions to share when hiring a heating and cooling contractor.
1. Are you licensed, insured and certified?
The majority of states have implemented licensing and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors. This offers peace of mind that anyone who works on things has the correct training and coverage in case an accident occurs. Extra ACE certification only further helps a contractor’s means to supply high-quality service.
2. What can you tell me about your experience and reputation?
While length of service alone doesn’t guarantee a contractor will do a good job, it indicates that they are proficient enough to stay in business for the long term. If you're able to, look up the company’s name online to determine that they’re telling the truth about their experience.
At the same time, look up the contractors you’re thinking about on Google and other third-party review websites. Testimonials from past customers provide a detailed idea of what to expect.
For even more comprehensive answers, inquire with potential contractors for the contact details of prior customers. As you call these references and look over online reviews, look for answers to these questions:
- Did the contractor complete the job on time?
- Did the contractor leave the customer feeling comfortable?
- Was the overall bill the same amount as the initial estimate?
- Did a live person always answer calls, or did an answering machine pick up?
3. Are your technicians background-checked and drug-tested?
You deserve confidence that the HVAC technicians who do the work are clean, dependable and safe to have around your family. For complete peace of mind, check with the contractor if background checks and drug tests are compulsory before adding new hires to the team.
4. Can you examine the entire home HVAC system?
If the storm damage is severe enough to destroy your HVAC system, you may need another one. However, it isn’t enough to merely swap out one furnace and air conditioner for another. After all, a heating and cooling system is only as good as the ductwork it’s attached to. So if you’re looking at HVAC replacement following a storm, ask potential contractors a few questions:
- Do you offer heat loss/gain evaluations?
- Do you assess insulation levels and air leaks?
- Do you determine the duct system to guarantee appropriate sizing and configuration?
5. Can I get an estimate in writing?
A written, itemized estimate is crucial when exploring bids from various HVAC contractors. Look for a company that provides free estimates and trustworthy, up-front pricing. Also, be sure to ask whether the company charges hourly or by the job so you understand what you’re paying for. Just remember that the most affordable bid isn’t automatically the best deal, particularly if it’s much lower than the others. Odds are the contractor could attempt to cut corners to make the price seem fair or tack on hidden fees at the end.
6. Do you have any special promotions?
Getting your HVAC system back online after a serious storm isn’t always cheap. That’s why it’s worthwhile to ask about any savings you could qualify for when repairing or replacing your HVAC system. Also, find out what financing and leasing options the contractor carries as a better way to afford unexpected HVAC services following a storm.
Choose Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning
Do you need a proven contractor to restore your HVAC system after a natural disaster? You can’t go wrong with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We are a national company with hometown heart, a formula that helps us stay in front of the competition. If you prioritize fair prices, lasting results and total satisfaction, we can meet your needs to a tee. Contact your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office for help examining and repairing your HVAC system.